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Color Schemes

Design Color Schemes

So why is color so important? Psychologist have shown color can affect the mood of a person. Just think about it, what colors make you smile? When you are choosing a color scheme for a room, remember you are the one who has to live with it. It should be a reflection of you and what you want in a color scheme. Just like picking out your own clothes.  Just keep in mind you will see those colors day in and day, so make your choice carefully. Colors are like tastes in food. What you may enjoy might not be for everyone else. Start by making a list of colors you find pleasing. Look around at the colors you find yourself draw to. Look in your closet at what colors you have chosen over the years. By do this, you can begin to make your list of colors and finding our what your color palette is. Below is a list of typical reactions to certain colors.

Color Warm Up

Red, orange, and yellow Colors in the red, orange and yellow families are called "warm" colors since they evoke images associated with heat, like fire or sunshine. As a result, they make us feel warm in a psychological sense.

This powerful color increases blood pressure and heart rate. It often produces feelings of intimacy, energy, passion and sexuality. It also stimulates the appetite, is often used in restaurants, and is an excellent choice for dining rooms in the home.

​Like red, orange warms a room but in a less dramatic and passionate way. The mood and attitude of orange is friendlier than fiery, more welcoming than seductive. Orange also works well in living rooms and family rooms and is a good choice for children's bedrooms.

Yellow grabs attention and catches the eye like no other color, hence the use of yellow highlighters in offices. In poorly lit foyers and hallways, yellow shows the way. In their bedrooms, elderly people report that yellow lifts their mood. However, bright yellow can be too strong and may actually cause anxiety in infants, young children and the elderly.

Color Cool Out

Blue, green, and violet Blues, greens, violets and their intermediates are considered “cool colors” because of their references to pastoral landscapes and ocean vistas. When we look at these colors, they elicit feelings of peace, tranquility and relaxation.

Soothing blue is an ideal bedroom color choice for adults and children. However, that same blue that lulls us to sleep also suppresses our appetites, possibly because there are very few naturally blue foods. Put blue to bed, but try to keep it out of the dining room.

As the dominant color in nature, we are at home with green anywhere in the house. Light greens work well in baths and living rooms; mid-range greens are a great accent for kitchens and dining rooms. The calming effect of green makes it popular in hospitals, schools and work environments.

Despite the favorable response, violet elicits in children, many adults dislike purples, with rosier shades of violet being somewhat more appealing. Children's bedrooms and play areas may be good places to experiment with this color family.
color wheel

Decorator’s Color Wheel

This is a tool used by interior decorators, and can be a great aid for you when picking your perfect palette. Use it as a guide to show you how to choose color. 
  • Primary Colors are: Red, Blue and Yellow These colors are mixed together to create all other colors. 
  • Secondary Colors are: Orange, Green, and Violet. These are made when equal parts of two primary colors are mixed together. 
  • Tertiary Colors are: A primary color mixed with the secondary color next to it on the color wheel. When each of these shades are blended together the color becomes less intense. 
  • Neutral Colors are: Whites, and Beiges and Browns, and Black.

Complementary Color Scheme

A complementary color scheme means that any color opposite the color selected will coordinate. Red and green is a proven combination every year in December
  • Triadic color schemes use three colors on the wheel that are equidistant from each other such as red, yellow and blue. These colors are often used on children's toys.
  • Monochromatic schemes center around one color only, but use light and dark values to make them interesting. Since the interaction of a variety of colors isn't the way to add interest, it has to come from texture, pattern, lighting and accessorizing. Using a single color can be very sophisticated.
Choose a color scheme from the largest pattern in the space.
If you have patterned upholstery, an Oriental rug or large piece of artwork, pluck colors you like from the pattern. For a neutral wall paint color, look to the pattern's whites and beiges.
The use of tone is one method of tying the color schemes of your home together. Start with one area of the house and work through that area into other areas of the house. Chose the color of something from your starting point, such as a large piece of furniture. Once you have chosen the color, you can change the tone to a darker or lighter tone and use the color in the next area. This will tie your color schemes from each room together throughout your home.  You may consider starting with the foyer and living room because these areas are where we tend to greet guest the most. Then move into other common areas before addressing the bedrooms. Above all remember that you are the one whole will have to live day to day with your choice in color.